Comment from a twenty-year old Vietnamese student abroad

Below is comment from Ngoc Lan, a Vietnamese college student at a Boston University in Massachusetts.  Ngoc Lan  is 20-year-old who came to America 18 months ago.

After having met and discussed with her Vietnamese country people in America and conducted further research about Vietnam, Ngoc Lan became quite emotional expressing her mind during the commemoration of the Quốc Hận day of April 30, 2007 at Boston City Hall.

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I was born and raised under a communist regime in Vietnam .  What was related to me about the Vietnam War and the communist system which I was taught in school was completely different from what my mother told me.

What I have learned does not paint a clear picture about what happened to my beautiful country until I had the opportunity to research and explore about it more in America . Here, I have a chance to have a more appropriate view about the Vietnamese society.

It was the first time I have known that Father Ly, a 60-year-old priest, who previously spent more than a decade in prison for criticizing the present government because all his criticisms go against the Communist Society.

It was the first time I noticed that all the information goes against the government in Vietnam was locked.  Two years ago, when I heard about human rights; the freedom of speech and religion, I thought that these rights pertain to some country other than Vietnam.  I didn’t know that those problems were inside Vietnam itself.

Now, I’m really disappointed knowing that human rights, the natural rights guaranteed for the people, do not exist in Vietnam . When I was in Vietnam , the present government always criticizes The Republican of Viet Nam. However, it turns out that Vietnam was wealthier before 1975.  The South of Vietnam was named for “Hon Ngoc Vien Dong”.

I’m wondering when Vietnam can go back to that core promised land. As of April 30th today, I’m really shameful for my ignorance in the history of my country Vietnam.  I am indeed grateful for the soldiers of The Republican of Vietnam, who had given me the opportunity to explore different perspectives and points of views about these events. 

As I continue to meet and speak with those whom I consider as brothers and sisters of a common heritage, I begin to find a common bond with them, who recently are trying to fight for human rights in Vietnam. 

I’m proud of what we are doing to improve the conditions in Vietnam.  Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that you can use your knowledge to help people.  In order to make Viet Nam gets better, not only the Vietnamese community, but all of us need to take action. We have to communicate with the Vietnamese youth, who were born and raised after 1975, to let them know the truth about the present government.

Ngọc Lan

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